United By Pop received a free copy of The Hawkweed Prophecy in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are our own.
Title: The Hawkweed Prophecy
Author: Irena Brignull
Overall rating: 4/5
Great for: Fans of Jeff Giles, Kami Garcia, and Sally Green
Themes: Young adult, coming-of-age, fantasy, paranormal
Review: What if everything you thought you knew about yourself turned out to be a lie? What if you found out that you have been living the life of another? What if you discovered that the outcome of a 333-year-old prophecy rests upon your very existence?
This is the reality that Poppy Hooper and Ember Hawkweed are facing.
Both were born into a life that didn’t fit them and both have grown to realise that their place in the world is somehow wrong. One has led the life of the average teenager, but one that is fraught with troubles. Multiple school expulsions mar her records and her peers seem to sense some difference that she, deep down, has realised in herself. The other was born to a secret coven of witches and yet can display no magical abilities that see her outcast by the fierce females she lives with.
When the two misfits make each other’s fortunate acquaintance they unwittingly spark an ancient prophecy into being, and neither a life lived with magic or one in the ordinary world will ever be the same again.
I initially fell in love with this story due to the whimsical narration that echoed traditional fairy or folk tales. The dark elements of fantasy, that proceeded to permeate the story, proved this comparison to be even further true. There was a simple beauty to the narrative voice that reawakened this primitive style of storytelling but was brought into modernity and relevance when combined with the contemporary setting.
The amalgamation of tradition, and the rural and fantastical setting in which the witches made their home could easily have jarred with the alternative urban setting and voice. The two, however, were skillfully weaved into forming two alternating yet intertwining perspectives, that created a fully-formed narrative. When an additional male perspective was added, however, the suspense and intrigue were taken to another level.
It was at this point that I thought my love for this tale would diminish. I initially perceived this fantasy to be turning, instead, into a simple love story. Brignull cruelly deceived her readers into believing she was delivering the expected when, instead, this was merely another narrative thread intricately woven into the web of intrigue the book centres around.
Nothing is clear and nothing is simple in this tale. Which is precisely what I adored about it. The path to the final climatic moments of the books were truly unexpected, and each and every feature of it were required for the ending. From love, lies, loss and highs – ‘The Hawkweed Prophecy’ delivers it all, and you won’t see any of it coming.